Eze 14: "Idolatry in the heart is a common problem with
mankind. It is imbedded in our sin nature, and is reflected in self-adulation
and self-aggrandizement. There is therefore an urgent need for the Word of Truth
which opens the heart and reveals the true state thereof (Heb 4:12). The
Israelites sought the prophets they desired, and who were prepared to speak
'smooth things' (cp Isa 30:10), just as an ecclesia normally receives the
ministry it secretly wants. No greater insult can Yahweh be offered than for a
man who offers Him no allegiance, or at best a divided one, which He will not
accept, to then come to His prophet and ask to know His will -- which such a man
will only do if and when it suits him (cp Eze 14:7-8). It is evident that
Ezekiel was of some standing in the sight of the people (v 1), and they
listened, but unfortunately they did not heed his words because they had already
created their own gods 'of the heart' (v 3). Many who had no idols in the
sanctuary, have idols in their hearts, which is no less an usurpation of
Yahweh's throne. When gods of money, fleshly pleasure, or personal prestige
amongst their fellows, dominate the minds of men, a message of peace will not be
received from Yahweh. So the message is declared:  The Idolater and the
Prophet: vv 1-11.  The absolute justice of Jerusalem's doom: vv 12-23. There
is an appeal to Repent whilst there is time (vv 6-8), and the reminder that the
Righteous only will save themselves (vv 12-14). The prophet shows that only a
Righteous Remnant will be preserved through all the troubles of the times (vv
22,23). This same warning is appropriate for the brotherhood today"
Attendance at the meetings is no guarantee that our hearts are
right with God. A mere outward show, which might deceive our brethren and
sisters, does not deceive our Father.
The folly of closed minds: "Idolatry is an attitude of the
mind, not a posture of the body. It [ie idolatry of the heart] is the easiest,
most subtle form of idol worship; its danger lies in the fact that it is not
seen by others" (LR).
I THE LORD WILL ANSWER HIM MYSELF IN KEEPING WITH HIS GREAT
IDOLATRY: God's answer to this man is that his multitude of idols will in
some way lead to his downfall (cp v 9).
A WICKED STUMBLINGBLOCK BEFORE HIS FACE: The elders had
not come to Ezekiel with open minds to receive a reply.
AND IF THE PROPHET IS ENTICED TO UTTER A PROPHECY, I THE
LORD HAVE ENTICED THAT PROPHET: A special deception from God (cp 2Th 2:8,11;
Rom 1:28), particularly applicable if the person had preconceived ideas. "False
prophets only exist where there exists a demand for them." A lesson to us: 2Ti
Cp Jeremiah's mention of Moses and Samuel: Jer
NOAH, DANIEL AND JOB: These 3 were eminent examples of
personal righteousness, yet they delivered only a very few (Noah 7, Daniel 2) or
none (ie Job) along with themselves.
THEY COULD SAVE ONLY THEMSELVES BY THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS:
Salvation is based upon one's personal righteousness; one cannot be "righteous"
on behalf of others!
On a more positive note, "We have to remember that even if
things get so bad that no one else will listen to the message of salvation from
God, it is possible for the faithful (like Noah, Daniel and Job here) still to
be saved. Nothing can take away from us the promise that God has given of
eternal life. It is with us for ever, whatever our circumstances, unless we
choose to relinquish our part in it. God will never forsake us" (PC).